Mexico Must Invest US$4.2 Billion in Water Infrastructure
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Mexico Must Invest US$4.2 Billion in Water Infrastructure

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Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 09:10

The lack of water available in Mexico has become more evident over the past few years. In 2022, northern Mexico experienced an unprecedented drought that led local governments to ration water. To guarantee access to the resource, Mexico needs to invest at least MX$80 billion (US$4.2 billion), experts said.

According to Fernando González, Director, the Regional Center for Water Security and Eduardo Vázquez, Director, Capital Water, the billionaire investment is needed to create new water infrastructure and to update the system. 

Both González and Vázquez said funding is crucial because forecasts warned that water scarcity will continue to be a problem, one that must be addressed urgently to avoid repeating the scenario that northern Mexico experienced in 2022. 

In 2022, the amount of investment allocated to water infrastructure projects totaled US$1.76 billion and for 2023, the Chamber of Deputies almost double this amount to US$3.53 billion, which is getting near to the amount experts recommend. 

According to the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), food-related sectors like agriculture, livestock and aquaculture consume most of the concessioned water, accounting for over 76% of the total. Domestic-urban water use totals  15%, industry, trade and services consume 5% and energy generation, excluding hydroelectric power, utilize only 4%. 

According to the experts, the low efficiency in the agriculture sector’s water use and the loss of 40% of the water that enters the network are the biggest contributors to water scarcity, just like the lack of an ongoing maintenance and substitution plan for water pipelines.

During a meeting with investors, Carlos Rojas, Director General, Rotoplas, said that the industry will be threatened by droughts and low water availability. He stressed that Mexico must be prepared for nearshoring because this phenomenon will bring new companies to northern Mexico and increase the demand for water in those arid states.

Rotoplas noted that the lack of investment in water projects is not exclusive to Mexico. The company said that other countries where it operates, like Brazil, are experiencing similar scenarios. However, since governments are not investing in water projects, the private sector could do so instead.  

Photo by:   BJ Pearce

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